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Tips and Tricks To Help a Wound Heal Faster
What is a wound, technically? Anything that breaks the skin is a wound—like a cut, tear, or a burn. They are typically accidental, but even surgical cuts to remove an appendix are considered wounds. Some diseases like diabetes or skin conditions like psoriasis can cause wounds such as ulcers.
Healing cuts and burns can be painful, but there are ways to make the healing process faster. Check out these tips and tricks to help a wound heal faster to give yourself some relief!
Types of Wounds
Understanding what type of wound you have will help you get the proper treatment. Acute injuries might need a simple bandage, while more chronic injuries will need physician supervision.
We can suffer from one of two types of wounds: acute or chronic. Acute wounds heal within a short time frame, whereas chronic wounds are more invasive and generally need more care. What's the difference between the two?
Chronic wounds do not go through the normal stages of healing. They usually heal much slower, only partially heal, or even reoccur after healing.
Typically, underlying chronic diseases that hamper the blood supply or disrupt the cell function to the affected area cause chronic wounds.
If you suffer from chronic wounds, they need special care that is two-pronged: treat the injury and the underlying disease. By doing this, you’ll also be able to minimize the occurrence of other wounds.
Some common chronic wounds are:
- Pressure injuries — These generally happen to people who have limited mobility and cannot move all or part of their body. When we lie in bed or sit for too long, the skin on the points of the body with the most constant pressure eventually breaks down. These injuries can be superficial or reach down to the bone. Bedsores and decubitus ulcers are pressure injuries.
- Diabetic ulcers — Caused by degradation of circulation and nerves in the body from diabetes, diabetic ulcers begin in the feet. There are three types:
When these ulcers are left untreated, they can lead to amputation. Even then, the surgical scar from amputation will need care, too.
- Leg Ulcers — Leg ulcers are wounds from between the knee and ankle; circulation problems usually cause them. They are either arterial or venous.
- Arterial is common for people with heart disease and are on the foot or lower leg. Blood flow doesn't reach an area. Despite being smaller, they are deep and painful wounds.
- Venous ulcers happen on the ankle and are shallow but still painful. They happen when the veins in the leg are damaged and cannot return the blood to the heart.
- People can also have a combination of these two leg ulcers.
Treating Open Wounds
No matter if you hurt yourself suddenly or are treating a chronic wound, there are steps you should take to treat any open cut, tear, or burn. Severe injuries that are deep, bleeding profusely, or have debris that you cannot remove should be looked at by a physician. Go to the nearest ER or urgent care facility immediately.
Here's how to treat minor wounds:
- Wash — First, wash your hands with soap and water. You don’t want to expose the open wound to any infectious pathogens.
- Remove — If it’s large or deep, you might need to remove any jewelry or clothing to clean it properly. Regardless of the severity, you’ll need to remove anything that could touch it while it’s healing.
- Pressure — Apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
- Clean —With clean water or a saline solution, clean the wound, but only after the bleeding has stopped.
- Examine — Once cleaned, examine the wound for debris or dirt.
- Prevention —With clean hands or a Q-tip, apply antibiotic ointment to stave off infection.
- Dry — Allow a few moments for the ointment to dry and water to evaporate from the wound. Some moisture promotes healing, but excessive moisture encourages bacteria to grow; this can cause infection.
- Bandage — Cover the area with a band-aid or bandage.
The CDC recommends checking on a wound for signs of infection and changing dressings every 24 hours.
Be sure to keep your home stocked with bandages and antibiotic cream; accidents can always happen. You can find dressing supplies for wound care online.
For people with acute and chronic wounds, finding a way to heal them faster will relieve pain and the inconvenience of caring for an injury. Explore these tips and tricks to help make a wound heal faster:
- Antibiotic Ointment — Antibiotic ointments help to discourage infection and promote healing by warding off excessive moisture. Petroleum jelly can also be effective as a water-resistant barrier, but it lacks antibiotic properties.
- Aloe Vera — Full of minerals, aloe vera also contains glucomannan, which helps the body produce collagen—a substance that promotes healing. Not only does aloe vera help with burns, but it can also be effective at treating cuts.
- Honey — Some research suggests that honey helps heal wounds and reduces scar formation. It does help to discourage bacterial growth in acute wounds but is not effective in surgical wounds. It can cause infection and should be avoided for healing incisions.
- Coconut Oil — Monolaurin is an acid found in coconut oil that has antimicrobial properties, making coconut oil an effective substance in wound healing while also reducing the risk of infection.
Consult with a doctor before applying any of these substances to an acute or chronic wound.
Signs of Infection
Whether minor or major, you need to monitor any wound for signs of infection; harmful infections can lead to severe illnesses and cause severe complications. Some common symptoms are:
- The region around the wound is warm.
- The cut, tear, or burn is oozing a yellow or green discharge.
- There is an odor emitting from it.
- You see red streaks appear near it.
- You experience fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.
If you notice these symptoms, visit your doctor or the nearest emergency room to be treated. You could need antibiotics, or a tetanus shot.
To learn more about wound treatment and other healthcare concerns, review the blogs at Quick Supplies Online. You can also find medical and cleaning supplies online to keep your office and home stocked!